What Is an Affidavit and Indemnification Agreement?

By Evelyn Broderick
An indemnification agreement is a form of contract.

signing a contract image by William Berry from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Ever wonder what all that paperwork is when you rent a car? Chances are one of those papers is an indemnification agreement. This is basically a promise you will not sue the rental company. An affidavit and indemnification agreement is a special type of indemnification agreement. It is used to protect not only rental companies, but also corporate shareholders.

Affidavit

An affidavit is a signed sworn statement and the signer is called the "affiant" or "depondent." To formalize the affidavit, it should be signed in front of an official, such as a notary public. An affidavit and Indemnification agreement is a signed statement in which the affiant agrees to indemnify the holder of the agreement.

Indemnification

To indemnify someone means to compensate him. Therefore, an indemnification agreement involves a promise of compensation. It also implies a release from responsibility. When you sign an indemnification agreement to rent a car, you are agreeing not to sue the renter for damage that happens to you because of the rental. You also agree the renter is not responsible for damage you do to others with the car.

Uses

An affidavit and indemnification agreement is more formal than the agreement you sign when renting a car. It is most commonly used by companies to protect their shareholders and board members. These agreements state the company indemnifies and absolves these individuals from liability. Therefore, a client suing the company may not sue individual shareholders for their personal wealth.

About the Author

Evelyn Broderick has been a writer since 2004. Her work has been published by the Jewish Alliance for Women in Science. She holds a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and biology from Macaulay Honors College and is pursuing an M.D./Ph.D. in immunology at Sloan Kettering. She is also a member of the New York Academy of Sciences.

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